States & UTs

    Boy's death stokes rabies fears in Noida-Ghaziabad as strays run amok

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    The Hawk
    September10/ 2023
    Last Updated:

    Ghaziabad/Noida: The tragic death of a 14-year-old boy recently from rabies has sent shivers down people’s spines in Noida-Ghaziabad. The boy, Shahbaz, who was bitten by a neighbour’s dog a month ago in the Vijay Nagar police station limits, had allegedly hidden the incident from his family.

    More than 400 cases of dog bites are reported every day from these two districts -- Noida-Ghaziabad. At the same time, more than 1.25 lakh dogs are seen roaming on the roads of both the districts every day.

    Principal Secretary Health of the Uttar Pradesh government has sought answers from the concerned medical officers of Ghaziabad in this incident. Meanwhile, an FIR has been registered against the dog owner. 

    India accounts for 36 percent of total rabies deaths in the world, that comes to around 18,000-20,000 deaths each year.

    Approximately 30-60 percent of rabies cases and deaths reported in India involve children under 15 years of age, as dog bites in children often go unrecognised and unreported. Dogs are responsible for about 97 per cent of human rabies cases in India, followed by cats (2 per cent), jackals, mongoose and others (1 per cent).

    Rabies is a disease caused by a virus called rabies. It is mainly a disease of animals, but this virus is also transmitted to humans by infected animals. It remains in the saliva of infected animals and when an animal bites a human, this virus enters the human body.

    Rabies spreads to humans through the bites of dogs, monkeys and cats. This disease usually spreads to humans through dog bites. There is no effective treatment for rabies once the infection is established. Though some people have managed to survive, but the disease usually causes death.

    Whenever a dog bites, the first thing to do is wash the area thoroughly with detergent soap. If the wound is very deep then first wash this area with soap and then apply Betadine ointment. This reduces the effect of rabies virus slightly. But it is important to clean it thoroughly. Along with this, rabies vaccine, antibodies and tetanus injection should be given in case of dog bite.

    One should take the complete course of rabies vaccine and its four to five doses. Usually, five injections are required after a dog bite. For this, the first shot should be given within 24 hours, next on the third day, seventh day, 14th day and finally on the 28th day.

    One should keep in mind that the wound should not be bandaged after a dog bite. Oil, turmeric or any household item should not be applied on the wound. After washing the wound, one needs to contact a doctor immediately. So that the doctor can treat it based on its severity.

    Ghaziabad Municipal Corporation said that sterilisation of dogs started in 2013, so that their number does not increase, yet their number is seen increasing in the streets. In the last 10 years, the Municipal Corporation has sterilised 24,580 dogs, whereas the number of stray dogs here is more than 60,000.

    However in Noida, about 10,000 pet dogs have been registered on the NAPR app of Noida Authority. Noida Authority has claimed that currently 40,000-45,000 dogs have been sterilized, yet the number of dogs here is not seen decreasing. Noida Authority has hired two agencies to catch the dogs. The agencies claim that 1200 dogs are being caught every month. Every year about 40,000 anti-rabies injections are given in the government hospital of the district. 

    —IANS